Pentecost XXIV

Bishop’s Note
It can sometimes be very difficult for us to be positive and to see the silver lining behind each cloud that comes floating into our lives, yet sometimes the Good God gives us much more than just a glimpse of this silver lining. It is His way to encourage us to keep moving forward as His brave soldiers should. This past week has most certainly been one of those weeks and our hearts are filled with gratitude to Almighty God.

Last Sunday’s Rosary procession at Gate of Heaven Cemetery was the most well attended one that I have seen in my 18 years as a priest. The 65 souls had a hard time hearing me lead the prayers and it was suggested that maybe we use the loudspeaker next time, but out of respect for the place I hesitate to do so. Still, Our Lady heard our prayers for the departed, and this is the most important. Strangers visiting their own departed that day also heard our prayers! Did you notice the couple who joined us in the Hail Marys as we passed by them?! It was very touching to hear them and I know that those few Hail Marys will be the salvation of those two souls! The second of this week’s cemetery Rosary processions was at St. Stephen’s, the place where both Bishop Dolan and Fr. Cekada are buried. Fr. Lehtoranta took the school children with him this time. Dr. Stanislowski guessed that we had near a hundred people present for that one.

I have a story that I will share in detail with you at some point. It is of a very sweet lady, Judith, the mother-in-law of one of our parishioners. She is near the end of her life and lies on her death bed at present. She was never Catholic and was never previously baptized. This week she accepted to become a Catholic and has since received Baptism, the Brown Scapular, Extreme Unction, Confirmation, Viaticum as her First Holy Communion, the Apostolic Blessing, and the Prayers for the Dying. Hers is an amazing story of the triumph of the Sacred Heart in the life of a soul. Mysterious and wonderful are the ways of Divine Providence!

Frs. McKenna, Simpson, and Brueggemann left for Milwaukee this past Thursday for Forty Hours at St. Hugh of Lincoln. The faithful there are not nearly as many as at St. Gertrude’s, but are still able to have all the ceremonies and Holy Hours that this devotion requires. It takes a lot of self-sacrifice and generosity to make it work, but they are always up to the task.

Both Fr. McKenna and Fr. Simpson have been sick lately. Fr. Simpson even got stuck in Texas for an extra day because of it. Still, they are soldiering on! I’m not sure how they do it. Hopefully, they can get a little rest when they return to St. Gertrude’s.

This week is the feast of St. Gertrude the Great and the anniversary of ordination for both Fr. Lehtoranta and myself. I hope you will join us for the feast of our great patroness. We will offer a Solemn High Mass in her honor and then a pizza party in Helfta Hall to which you are all invited.

Silver linings! May the Sacred Heart help you to see them behind every cloud.

– Bishop McGuire